02nd Jun2017

‘Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #13’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Cavan Scott | Art by Cris Bolson | Published by Titan Comics


The last couple of issues have been great fun, with the Ninth Doctor taking on himself. Well, not exactly himself but an evil doppelganger made up of all the bad qualities from both him and all his previous incarnations. While Tara and Rose were more than adequate as companions on this occasion, the question we have all had for the last few issues is just what the heck is going on with Captain Jack, and where has he gone? The little we learnt about some of his questionable practices as a Time Agent did not fill us with confidence…

Well, wonder no longer as we check in on Jack Harness, Time Agent, swanning about like an extraterrestrial James Bond. Which is pretty cool. The first handful of pages feel like a pre-credits sequence of a film, as Jack loves and fights his way through a secret mission rather joyfully if truth be told. This is then contrasted with the other side of being an agent, the ‘dirty’ side, where you are nothing more than a blunt instrument, a finger on a trigger. In Jack’s case this involves assassinating a target with an Eradicator X7, a gun that wipes the target out of existence so that they were never born. The target was Zloy Volt, supposedly targeted for the fact he would develop weapons of mass destruction in the future. Jack did his duty, but then he saw something he shouldn’t have.

Jack discovered that Zloy Volt was not in fact a weapons developer, but was about to invent free time travel for all. The Time Agency viewed him as a threat, and needed him taken out. They paid lip service to the threat unregulated time travel would pose to universal stability, but Jack knew the real reasons was they would lose their control. He decided to keep his head down for now, but one day woke up to find two years of his memories, two years of his life, had just disappeared. He created a new persona, the carefree, happy go lucky personality we know so well, and had many adventures of his own and with The Doctor. Until, yet again, Jack’s life came screeching to a halt.

Turns out Volt isn’t dead after all. Jack thinks he was sent to find him, not kill him, but who knows what’s right or wrong anymore? Jack has tracked Volt down in the present and, as he prepares to tail him, finds The Doctor pulling up on a stolen police air bike. As you do. While the two get up to speed with what each other knows, Jack spots the glimpse of a rifle in a window, and heads up to stop what seems to be another assassination on Volt. The Doctor would love to help, but Captain Jack has laid him out with a cheap shot, as he doesn’t want any help. That’s surprising enough, but when Jack bursts in on the assassin things take a decided turn for the even stranger….it’s someone very, very familiar.

Even though The Doctor barely made a cameo in his own book, this was a very good issue. The focus on Captain Jack was great fun, as was the filling in of a lot of back story, and he made a very charismatic lead. We had layers of adventure, mystery, emotional development, betrayal and a whole lot of other things going on, and Cavan Scott did a fantastic job. The art by Cris Bolson was also pretty good. Very orthodox in layout and style, but never bland and with good likenesses, it added nicely to the story and our enjoyment of it. Perhaps a Captain Jack mini-series may have been a better place to see this story unfold, but on its own merits this was very good.

Can two Jack’s be better than one? Once you get your minds out of the gutter, I’m sure we’ll find out next time. As will Jack. And Jack.

***½  3.5/5


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